Antiquities Near Miltown Malbay

Thomas Johnson Westropp
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Clare County Library

Mutton Island, or Iniskeeragh (O.S. Map 38)

There can be but little doubt that this was the Inisfitae on the coast of Corcovaskin, which in A.D.802 was broken into three by a tidal wave and perhaps earthquake, when some 2,000 persons perished and the main shore was heaped with sand and debris. It has been stated that the third fragment has disappeared since the date of Petty’s Survey, in 1657. This is not the case-all three remain-Iniskeeragh, the central island; Mattle Island, and the reefs of Carrickaneeliwar and the Seal Rock.

Mutton Island itself is nearly cut across by bays and tunnels. The very picturesque, though low, cliffs near the Telegraph Tower, with the deep clefts full of the churning sea, one with a window-like oblong ope, another branded with the fearsome name of Iffrinbeg, or “Little Hell,” are well worthy of a visit. The antiquities are most insignificant. Senan had a church here, and one coarse, late looking fragment of the west end stood in 1887 in a garden behind one of the houses. Professor O’Looney accredits the place with a round tower [23] known neither to history, archæology, nor local tradition. On the rising ground to the north and north-east are found two small cairns and slabs partly cut to shape, perhaps fragments of a late rude cross.

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